I have a female Boxer 3 1/2 and a female staffordshire bull terrier 5 . i have had the boxer since a pup and they have always been together. There are now fighting, due to the boxer being jealous to get our attention. The Boxer will start the fight, but obviously comes off worst. Neither dog has shown any aggression to humans, is there anything you can say to advise me. Many Thanks Wendy Skelton
Wendy,I have a few questions.Are either of them spayed?They should be pretty evenly matched as far as size goes, is this true?Can you describe in detail an incident that has occurred?Do either have any health issues?What do you do when this happens?Which dog do you feed first?Has the staffie been the alpha dog up till now?
Wendy,i was hoping to get some responses to my questions before answering, but didn't want you to wait on an answer. .
Dogs do experience hormonal changes as they go into heat so if either of them are not spayed, that may be a contributing factor. We do normally see some aggression toward male dogs at the beginning of the heat cycle since they are not yet at the right time of heat. We also sometimes see aggressions toward other females to establish their leadership and "right" to mate.
I would discourage any aggression by your female at all times. There are other causes for sudden aggression in dogs such as hypothyroidism. You can read about this here.
When a dog is a puppy (under a year of age or so) any older dog in the house is the alpha dog. A male is usually alpha over females and females have one female alpha in addition to an alpha male. Thus there is no dominance fighting from the male if there is onlyone. While the younger dog was maturing, the older dog established her rank over the other female with minimal or no fighting involved. Now that the younger dog is matured, she feels she has to put the older dog in its place and establish herself as the alpha dog. This will be especially true if the older dog is spayed and the younger dog not spayed. An older dog will usually not just submit without some sort of altercation and this can be an ongoing issue. It may also be that the younger dog senses some weakness (illness perhaps) in the older dog which is triggering the fights. Sometimes it will look like one dog started a fight, but with dogs a wrong look or movement by a submissive dog can trigger a fight.
Attacking can also be triggered by an illness in the older dog as well, so you may want to have an elderly check up done on her to be sure she does not have a medical issue going on.
I would start making your dogs work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
You will also want to keep a leash on the females at all times initially to grab if they should disobey. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. Give this a try and see how it works for you.
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques on the previous website, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
Living in a household with multiple females can be an issue. You may eventually need to keep the two separate to avoid these problems. You can read about this issue here:
Obedience training both dogs can go a long way toward stopping any infightng between dogs. Once trained, you can command them to stay in separate areas using the sti command and then you are in charge of any interactions they should have.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Sorry for delay.
They are both spayed.
The staffie is a small one, so the boxer is approx 6 inch bigger.
What happens is we would be sitting on the sofa, the staffie would come over for a stroke, the boxer would see this and first of all go towards the door to leave the room, her heckles would go up then she would growl and then go for the staffie.
Neither have health issues.
They are feed together at the same time, no problems.
After the incident where we have split them up and put them in different rooms, after a few minutes, we let them come back together and they just lick each other.
Yes the staffies has been the alpha female.
JaCustomer,I'm not sure if you red my previous answer, but if you haven't, take a second to scroll up and read it. Boxers are prone to hypothyroidism, so I would definitely get the boxer checked for hypothyroidism..However, with the boxer being larger and stronger as well as younger, she is definitely going to feel like she should be the alpha female and this is likely to be a dominance issue. As I stated in my previous answer, most dogs who have been the alpha won't give up that position easily and if they don't submit o the dominant female, fights will continue. As long as blood isn't drawn or injuries sustained, some owners elect to let them work it out. .However if injuries are occurring that is not an acceptable solution. There are some things you can do to help the situation. Since the boxer is larger, stronger and younger, she is the logical choice for alpha. So you will want to feed the boxer first, show her attention first and otherwise treat her as the second in command. This should make the transition easier on both dogs. .In addition, take over the leadership role by being a strong alpha owner. This can be accomplished with extensive obedience training. If you control who does what, who eats what and everything else in their lives, neither dog is the alpha and thus fighting is reduced. .I hope this information is helpful to you.